Marriage is an ever-evolving experience. We constantly change, adapt, and sometimes even start over. In It’s No Secret, couples share thoughts about commitment and tell us what they have learned, revealing their secret to making it work. (The answers are edited to preserve context and space.
Who Kurt Bloom, 53, and Daisy Eagan 42
OccupationsMs. Eagan plays the role of an actor. Mr. Bloom is the operations manager for Guitar Center, a retailer of musical instruments in Monetary Park (Calf).
Married One year, six months and counting
Through the years
The couple lives with their son Monty, 8 years old, in Los Angeles. They were married in Anaheim, Calif. on May 6, 2020 at a Honda car centre, where a temporary marriage station was set up. “It was Covid, everything was shut down,” Ms. Eagan said. “We walked to a kiosk and this clerk of the court married us. My sister was our witness. It was very basic. The Cheesecake Factory was our wedding meal, which we got to go because only their drive-through was open.”
On May 24, Zoom celebrated with 30 family and friends who viewed remotely. “We exchanged vows we had written,” she said. “That was very special.”
Ms. Eagan and Mr. Bloom met in 2008 while they were both studying writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. He was 40. “I did a reading of his play for his final,” Ms. Eagan said. “We were outside smoking and he complimented my acting. Then he left. He was giving me validation, which I needed, and he was funny.” Mr. Bloom was unaware Ms. Eagan had won a Tony in 1991 for best performance by a featured actress in a musical for “The Secret Garden.”
Soon, they found themselves in the same classes. This led them to meet up in class, which led to a romantic relationship. They moved in together in 2010 and split two years later. “We were very unhappy,” Ms. Eagan said. “All we did was smoke cigarettes, drink and watch TV.”
A few weeks later, she discovered she was 10 and half weeks pregnant. “I was staying in a hotel and we met to talk about what to do,” she said. “Kurt said, ‘I want to have this baby with you.’ That was the moment I realized I wanted to as well.”
They were reunited. Monty was born on May 13, 2013. Things didn’t improve. “We thought a baby would fix us. It didn’t,” she said. “We were scared and not ready to work on us. They ended their relationship in 2015. In 2017, Ms. Eagan went on tour for over a year with both “The Secret Garden” and “The Humans.” Mr. Bloom took Monty to Seattle so he could care for his terminally ill father.
Monty was there to accompany Ms. Eagan when she returned from touring and moved to Brooklyn. So did Mr. Bloom. “Because we couldn’t afford separate places, Kurt moved in with us.” she said. “He lived in Monty’s room. They had bunk beds and I had my own bedroom. We were roommates and co-parenting. It was awkward, but it also felt normal.”
They were reunited after Ms. Eagan returned from her tour in December 2018. “Once we were physical, feelings and emotions came back — I realized I loved this person,” she said. In July 2019, the trio returned to Los Angeles. Monty had his own bedroom, while the couple shared theirs. After Covid’s attack, Mr. Bloom was furloughed. He also lost his health insurance. SAG-AFTRA was a great help to Ms. Eagan. In April 2020, she proposed to her husband while they were having dinner in their apartment.
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What They’ve Learned
Ms. EaganWe have a traditional, but not traditional marriage. I’m in a straight relationship to the outside world, but because I came out in my late 30s as queer, I didn’t get a chance to explore that as much as I would have liked. I identify as she/they, and we have an open relationship. I don’t know if I would act on it, but knowing the door is unlocked is a comfort. It helps me to be queer. Kurt might be someone Kurt would like to have as a friend. That doesn’t worry me. There’s a level of respect and acceptance that comes with understanding your partner’s sexuality.
Married life feels more permanent. Love is a commitment. It’s a decision that you make every day. It’s an agreement to work as hard as you can together. Marriage means I’m there for Kurt in a supportive, financial, emotional, parenting, friendship and companionship way. And he’s there for me. It is rare that we are equal partners. I wish to be that way for the rest my life.
I love him very much. He’s the person I want to be with. He’s supportive, funny and smart. He’s a wonderful parent and partner. He makes me smile in a way that no other person can. He’s the constant, the calm in the storm. He is a man I respect. I love watching him parent. He always kisses me goodnight every morning and I often think about him throughout the day. He comes home from work and I’m excited to see him. He’s my favorite person.
I’ve learned I spent a lot of my life settling. I didn’t know who I was for a long time. Part of the evolution of this relationship is that I’ve come to understand who I am. Kurt loves me fully, not a hypothetical or future version of me, but me. I never feel like I have to give up any part of me to make Kurt happy. That’s a gift. He’s taught me to love and respect myself in a way I haven’t before.
Monty was seven years old when Kurt became sober. But that’s a product of me having boundaries. He’s learned to tap into an emotional place that he was covering up. Now he’s a connected, reactive, responsible partner. It’s allowed me to feel I have a present partner.
There was a time when I couldn’t see the positive in him. I only saw the flaws I thought were his. We were two different people who lived together from the beginning of our relationship. I didn’t know him or myself. I’ve learned to appreciate him, and what we have created. Life is hard but it’s easier to live in because we have created our own little universe.
Mr. BloomI identify as he/him. I’m comfortable with Daisy identifying however she’s comfortable. Her identity has evolved as she’s evolved. You can love someone and learn to listen, understand, accept, and evolve with them.
We don’t have a traditional view of marriage; we just have marriage. A successful, open relationship requires that communication is open and honest at all times. Having that, I don’t mind Daisy being with someone else. I don’t feel abandoned or left alone because she still wants to be with me, and how lucky is that? I’ve been lucky since the day I met her. I have a son with her. We co-parent together.
In this marriage, I’ve learned we are family. I’m an integral part of a team of three. We depend on each other for entertainment, laughter, and food. We survived a year and half of plague together and were stronger and more in love than ever before.
It took me a while to get there. I was always told my place; here I found my place in this family, in my partner and as a father. There’s a sense of relief, of not being judged or ridiculed. I’m appreciated, loved and heard. I feel valued, loved, and heard. Daisy receives that. She allows herself to be seen, and I see her. That’s why this works.
I bring practicality as well as pragmatism. I bring safety and the ability to allow people to express themselves. I’ve taught Daisy that she doesn’t have to do everything, to let me help, and to be open to that help while assuring her she doesn’t have to carry everything.
After I got sober, I started a journey to reclaim my identity. Growing up, I wasn’t given the tools to get what I wanted and needed. I’m accumulating more tools now. I’ve learned how to communicate, to be patient and more sensitive. To be present minded. I’ve learned to be less hard on myself. There is room for mistakes; I’ve learned to learn from them.
The way we designed our marriage would not work for many people, but I can’t imagine anything more wonderful than what we have. It sounds easy in words, but it takes practice. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Source: NY Times